Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Few data are available on the prevalence of feline viruses in European wildcats (Felis silvestris). Previous surveys have indicated that wildcats may be infected with the common viruses of domestic cats, apart from feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV). In the present study, 50 wildcats trapped throughout Scotland (UK) between August 1992 and January 1997 were tested for evidence of viral infection. All were negative for FIV by several serological or virological methods. By contrast, 10% of the cats were positive for feline leukemia virus (FeLV) antigen and infectious virus was isolated from 13% of a smaller subset. Of the wildcats tested for respiratory viruses, 25% yielded feline calicivirus (FCV) and although no feline herpesvirus was isolated, 16% of the samples had neutralizing antibodies to this virus. Antibodies to feline coronavirus (FCoV) were found in 6% of samples. Feline foamy virus (FFV) was an incidental finding in 33% of samples tested. This study confirms that wildcats in Scotland are commonly infected with the major viruses of the domestic cat, except for FIV.

Original publication




Journal article


J Wildl Dis

Publication Date





121 - 124


Animals, Animals, Wild, Caliciviridae Infections, Calicivirus, Feline, Carnivora, Coronavirus, Coronavirus Infections, Female, Herpesviridae, Herpesviridae Infections, Immunodeficiency Virus, Feline, Leukemia Virus, Feline, Male, Prevalence, Retroviridae Infections, Scotland, Spumavirus, Virus Diseases